Hardcore fighting game enthusiasts are kind of used to title updates--it's just the way of things, like hardcore FPS fans buying map packs. However, fighting game updates--specifically, how they're delivered--have become a serious point of contention for gamers. Not to worry, though--Capcom won't be focusing on "Super"-style updates for the foreseeable future.
When someone asked Capcom Senior VP Christian Svennson in his "Ask Capcom" feature why the company doesn't just release a stream of small title updates instead of new titles, Svennson went into detail with a multi-part answer:
"From my perspective (and other folks around here may have other opinions), there are three reasons mainly:
• The key people needed to do the proposed updates are working on "other things". This actually isn't an opinion, but a fact.
• Giving consumers time to work up an appetite for "what's next" is a good thing. Since SFIV came on the scene, we've been providing fighting games at an accelerated pace, especially when you include our digital offerings. Trickling out subsequent updates appeals to a smaller and smaller segment of the market and it's difficult to make those things feel like "an event" as we did with UMvC3 and SSFIV. Case in point: AE/AE2012.
• We get enough flack (sic) from people and media who have indicated they feel we've "milked" said products too much already. While I believe we've done a sufficient amount of "milking" doing more of them provides more fuel to said fire and could make them right."
When he says "key people," I'm wondering if he means "Seth 'S-Kill' Killian," and when he says "other things," I'm wondering if he means a certain shameless Sony party fighter. It's possible, considering that Killian worked with Yoshinori Ono and Ryota Niitsuma on rebalancing the Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 rosters, respectively.
My opinion on this is a little inflammatory, but it's true: updates are not made for the general public, the folks who take a fighter home and mash buttons and have fun. Updates are made for the competitive community, who have worked with what the core game has to offer and are now continuing their training, as it were. I even said as much in the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review--if you're a die-hard player who'll spend hours mastering the timing on that one horrible fight-ending combo, pick it up. Otherwise, just go with the standard version--the update is not for you.
Of course, updates are reaching their target audience--Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition ver. 2012 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 were one of, if not the most popular events at this past EVO, with high-level players making the most of what each title brought to the table. However, that target audience isn't enough to keep Capcom's fighting games in the black.
With its focus moved to new titles, what do you think this means? Is Capcom starting work on a new Darkstalkers, or possibly the honest-to-God next chapter of Street Fighter?